So, I had conversation that I don’t get to have everyday. I was granted the opportunity to speak with Mob Wives Chicago’s Nora Schweihs, and she is truly a gracious and kind lady. I’d call it an “interview,” but it turned out to be more of a chat. It began by me asking if there was anything in particular she didn’t want to discuss or anything she wanted to make sure we covered. Nora was basically an open book, but she did want to make sure to thank Jennifer Graziano for giving her the opportunity to be on the show. For her, the show was a platform to get the closure with her father’s death she has so desperately been seeking. Nora also spoke with me about her upcoming endeavors and life off camera.
“[Jenn Graziano] turned my life around, and was able to give me the closure that I will hopefully have,” admits Nora. “When I was filming I was going to school…I just got my Masters. That was really stressful as well as filming. [The show] was very real and I’m just looking forward to moving forward and getting closure with my life.”
As for her wine, The German, she hopes it will be a tribute to her father and leave him with a legacy that doesn’t have such a poor connotation. It has about six more months of aging before she will be marketing it to distributors. Created with her friend Desiree, she has been part of each step of the process to ensure it is exactly what she wants. “I want to have The German be not such a negative name. That is my goal with my wine,” Nora reveals.
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When asked who she felt closest to among her cast mates, Nora replies, “You know what, with where we come from and our lifestyle, it’s been a little crazy, but Christina [Scoleri] and I have become closer, and Leah [Disimone] and I. Hopefully down the line things will work out between Renee [Fecarotta Russo] and Pia Rizza. At the end of the day, we all need to get along. We all are very independent, strong-minded women, and when you’re under stress, and you’re under a lot of it from things that have been going on your entire life.”
Nora touts going back to school as something that helped her deal with the loss of her father. She explains, “As far as myself, I was under a lot of stress with the exhuming of my father. I finished school, not only for my Masters, but I started school as my therapy for my father who was taken from me in ’08. I actually went back to school and got three degrees in three years…in the four years since my dad passed away, I’ve just been trying to get my life back together…after living with my dad for eight years, not only did I lose my father, but I lost a lot of things after living with him for so long.”
Nora first obtained her Associates degree to become a paralegal–with a focus on criminal law–which is what she was doing before she started filming the show. She later got her Bachelor’s degree in business administration and she was working towards her Masters in business management during the show. With her expanding business background, I was curious if Nora planned to market anything else besides her upcoming wine.
“I do have a book I’m working on,” Nora says. “I am waiting on the DNA results from my father, and that will likely be the finale of my book. It will be more of an autobiography of what I went through my whole life growing up in this lifestyle…the ups and downs my family went through with all the corruption. My dad was never, ever, ever, ever convicted of a murder, and he’s constantly portrayed as a hit man. I was used to it as a kid, but growing up and getting an education you learn that a lot of things printed aren’t really true.”
She continues, “That’s why I am so thankful for this opportunity from Jenn Graziano. That’s how I knew Jenn–her father and my father were in jail together. There is a bond there. I’m glad she came out to do the show in Chicago because it’s really helped me to be able to move forward. It’s our life every single day. I’m hoping we get picked up for a second season.”
I inquired as to whether Nora has been recognized more or treated differently due to being on the show. She laughs, saying, “You know it’s actually a really good feeling. Everyone that I’ve encountered–you know it’s weird…even if I have my hair thrown back in a ponytail, they’ll see my eyes and be like, ‘Oh my God, are you Nora?’ And I’m taken aback, and then I’m like ‘Oh yeah, I’m on a TV show.'”
As for the show changing how she operates, Nora doesn’t think it will. She states, “I stay pretty low key. That’s just the way my lifestyle is. I’m still with my family and friends. My life will definitely be the same. I’ve gotten back to who I used to be, smiling and laughing. I’ve been trying to get out there in the community. I love people and I have a big heart. Sometimes on the show it doesn’t really seem that way, because I was under so much stress…but hopefully I will get my story out and [people] will see how my life was as a child and what I went through losing my father.”
Nora’s father passed away from cancer, and her mother is two-time cancer survivor. I told her that I am looking forward to seeing the women do the breast cancer walk (which will air this Sunday) because, not only is a cause near and dear to my heart, but it is so refreshing to see the women coming together (hopefully!) without all the drama.
Nora agrees, saying, “It’s a very trying time when people have cancer. People always say, when you have friends who have lost someone dear to them, they can relate better than people who haven’t lost somebody dear to them. A lot of my friends, we stick together because we’ve lost loved ones. You go through the good times, the bad times, but you don’t know how something really feels until you’ve been through it yourself. That was why the walk was really good because everyone surrounding us had someone they loved who had cancer who either survived or passed on.”
Speaking of another cancer charity in which she participated in 2009, she reveals, “[It] really changed my life as well because when you’re surrounded by people who’ve experienced what you’ve experienced it’s a little bit easier to attach yourself to that person. As time goes on, [losing a loved one] doesn’t get easier, it gets harder because you miss them more. First you’re in shock, and then the shock goes away, and you just don’t want to believe it. It’s been four years out, and I still miss him everyday.”
The reality TV star says she is patiently waiting for the DNA results so that she can have closure on her father’s death. After speaking with her, I honestly think it will be such a huge weight off of her shoulders, and I expect to see a much happier and less stressed Nora in season two. I will admit, it feels weird not to be snarky, but she truly gave me no reason to be! :)
TELL US-WHAT DO YOU THINK OF WHAT NORA HAS TO SAY? WILL YOU BUY HER WINE AND READ HER BOOK?
[Photo Credit: VH1]